During an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, former Secretary of State Colin Powell may have revealed something we already knew already about Republicans and the so-called Hillary Clinton email “scandal.”
Which is to say that Republicans only think it’s wrong to be careless with State Department emails when the supposed carelessness is coming from Democrats.
See below for the transcript of the parts specifically about the State Department’s email history:
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. So we’ll cut back to you on that later on.
But I do want to ask you one final question on this Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy. Which, of course, put you back in the news a bit this week, as well.
You were secretary of State during the early days of e-mails. You were one of the first secretaries, I believe, to set up a personal e-mail account. And you pushed to modernize the State Department’s system.
Based on your experience, what do you make of these revelations this week and what would you recommend that she do now?
POWELL: I — I can’t speak to a — Mrs. Clinton and what she should do now. That would be inappropriate.
What I did when I entered the State Department, I found an antiquated system that had to be modernized and modernized quickly.
So we put in place new systems, bought 44,000 computers and put a new Internet capable computer on every single desk in every embassy, every office in the State Department. And then I connected it with software.
But in order to change the culture, to change the brainware, as I call it, I started using it in order to get everybody to use it, so we could be a 21st century institution and not a 19th century.
But I retained none of those e-mails and we are working with the State Department to see if there’s anything else they want to discuss with me about those e-mails.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So they want…
POWELL: (INAUDIBLE) have a stack of them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: — they’ve asked you to turn them over, but you don’t have them, is that it?
POWELL: I don’t have any — I don’t have any to turn over. I did not keep a cache of them. I did not print them off. I do not have thousands of pages somewhere in my personal files.
And, in fact, a lot of the e-mails that came out of my personal account went into the State Department system. They were addressed to State Department employees and the State.gov domain. But I don’t know if the servers the State Department captured those or not.
And most — they were all unclassified and most of them, I think, are pretty benign, so I’m not terribly concerned even if they were able to recover them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Mr. Secretary, thanks very much for joining us this morning.
POWELL: Thank you, George.
So, he thinks most of them may have been unclassified. He doesn’t sound so sure.
Since 12 Russian hackers were just indicted by Robert Mueller, it’s no longer a mystery why House Republicans seemed to parse Hillary Clinton’s email usage differently from that of their own party.